The Make Ahead Vegan, book review and a recipe

Talk to me, baby
I’m going blind from this sweet, sweet craving, whoa
Let’s lose our minds and go crazy crazy
Ah ya ya ya ya we’ll keep on cooking and have meals in the freezer.

Unlike some hit songs, you will never get bored with this book. I first heard about Ginny McMeans a few years ago, when I was looking for freezer meals. During the busier times in life it’s nice to be able to have healthy foods in our freezers. You’re less likely to be tempted to eat junk food. And this book makes life a lot easier. You can double the recipes, and stick one dish in the freezer for later. Or sometimes you make a recipe, but end up with left overs that go bad before you have a chance to eat them. Ginny teaches you how to cut down on food waste and store food properly in your freezer.

The Make Ahead Vegan (125 freezer friendly recipes) offers tips on what not to freeze, the best types of storage containers, how to prepare your food, blanching times and a food storage guide. There’s even tips and tricks. Oh, and you know the abundance of veggies you get from the farmers market or even your own garden? Now you can have a taste of summer on cold long winter days.

Chapter 1:Party Pleasures that include: cauliflower chickpea pizza bites, chickpea balls in marinara sauce.

Chapter 2: Wake up and eat:chocolate layered cinnamon rolls, German apple cake, Fruit filled half moons.

Chapter 3: To warm you from the inside out: slow cooker vegan sausage black bean soup, veggie stew.

Chapter 4: Side to complement: creamy broccoli bake, cauliflower tots, slow cooker pull apart pizza rolls.

Chapter 5: Hearty Meals: American tetrazzini, chipotle lentil patties, pizza sandwiches.

Chapter 6: Extra embellishment: ketchup, Thai sweet chili sauce, butterscotch sauce.

Chapter 7: Sweetness: Cinnamon maple cookies, chocolate sugar cookies.

Chapter 8:Always Frozen- ICE CREAM!!!!

I’ve made about a dozen recipes so far from this book. I did fail at one, only because I decided to sub panko crumbs for breadcrumbs, but I used my “cauliflower rice” and made the broccoli bake- that was a tasty mistake ūüôā

I’m stoked to be able to share a recipe with you. It was the very first one I made from the book. Both my kids loved them. Finally I don’t have to make two batches at once to please the minions. They were a nice blend of soft, with a touch of crunch, maple with cinnamon. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!!

Cinnamon Maple Cookies 700

Cinnamon Maple Cookies*

Cinnamon maple is a perfect combination and when the flavors get turned into cookies, eyes will roll in ecstasy. These are big cookies so get your munch on.
YIELD: 36 COOKIES | ACTIVE TIME: 20 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
¬Ĺ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup vegan shortening
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans

Preheat the oven to 350¬įF. Lightly grease a baking sheet¬†with the coconut oil.
In a bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Mix the ground cinnamon and sugar together and set aside also.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Slowly add the maple syrup and beat until it is well incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the maple syrup mixture and mix until just combined.

Fold in the pecans.
Drop by heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet.

Flatten a bit and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place the cookies on wire racks to cool.

Storing in the refrigerator:
Will keep in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Freezing:
Freeze in freezer bags and just take out a few when you want. They defrost almost immediately.

Will keep in the freezer for up to 5 months.

Visit Ginny’s blog Vegan in the freezer.

Follow her on twitter

Follow her on facebook

And if you still want more food porn, which I know you do- check out her  instagram

the make ahead vegan cookbook cover jpg

I was given permission to post the recipe and above photo’s on our blog by Ginny McMeans.

What are you excited to try? I would list every recipe I want to try, but then I would be writing out all the recipes ūüôā

Book Review of Plant Powered Families

 

Over 100 kid tested- whole food vegan recipes, by Dreena Burton. OVER 100 recipes.

Part 1, there’s an intro to eating with plant power including Dreena’s story. A handy guide to what you should have in your pantry. And she talks about plant power batch cooking. I’m all¬†for¬†batch cooking. I know that I can go to my freezer and pull something out that’s healthful and not have to resort to some junky processed foods because I’m in a hurry.

Part 2: plant powered recipes

Sugar N spice cake pg 204, vanilla bean almond butter fudge pg. 197, no- bake granola bars pg, 190, “nicer” krispie squares pg. 186, natural berry jam pg. 179, chocolate chia pudding pg. 174, ultimate teriyaki stir fry pg. 166, tofu in cashew ginger sauce (I used the sauce over rice, but didn’t add the tofu- added chickpeas instead) pg.156, home fries pg. 152, balsamic glazed seasoned yam fries, mac-nificent pg.134, thick n hearty tomato sauce pg. 133, Creamy Fettuccine pg. 130, chick n rice soup pg. 126, sniffle soup pg.122, smoky bean chili pg.121, super cheesy sprinkle pg. 113, cheesy Caesar dressing pg. 106,¬†red lentil hummus pg. 87, mild cheesy dip pg.83, chickpea nibbles pg. 77, chickpea salad pg. 64, apple spice hemp muffin pg. 52, best banana bread pg.48- just a few recipes that I have made. Click on the links for the recipes.

Part 3, challenges and solutions. Dreena has 3 kids so I’m pretty sure at some point she’s had some challenges during meals. She talks about the 3 C’s: consistent, certain and calm. Don’t give up. She offers sound advice and handy tips to help avoid the dinner table looking like a battlefield. Stuff like how to involve your children, get them interested, how to make it interesting to them and some of the culprits that might causing the food fight.

Who hasn’t had to face the “dreaded” bday invite? How should you deal with that? Without offending the host.¬†Well there’s tips on how to handle not only that, but hosting your own plant power parties , with the most popular recipes kids love.

Part 4: Support, including DIY staples, cooking guides, meal plans and FAQ’s. I love how wholesome the menu plan is. There’s a nutritional breakdown, so you know that you are providing your family with all the nutrients they need.¬† She answers questions about protein, soy and so on. Has nutrient charts, did you know that 1/2 cup of brown rice has 2.5 g or 8% protein of calories? Now you do.

I think this is a MUST have book for anyone that has children, or watches children. Or even for those without kids.

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ppf

Buy your copy here: Plant Powered Families*

What is your favorite Dreena recipe?

Note* the pictures are from amazon.ca and contain affiliate links.

Superbowl Menu

Game day is almost here, and it’s time to think about the food, because you need snacks.

The following are some of my fav recipes when it comes to lip smacking guilt free indulgence.

Richa’s mozza sticks or try vegan zombie cheese stix

Richa has a recipe for cauliflower bites with celery ranch dip because you need wings at your party.

Ginny’s white pizza sauce and she also has a pizza recipe on her site Vegan in the freezer. If you are not in the mood to make your own pizza crust, then check out Laura’s take on a fast flavorful¬†pizza. Julie Hasson wrote a book all about pizza, she also has some¬†Pizza¬†recipes on her site. Or make some pizza pull apart buns, this cooks in your slow cooker so you’re not slaving.

Nacho’s are a MUST, so head on over to Dreena’s site the Plant powered kitchen for her to die for vegveeta dip. This is my go to sauce for nacho’s.

Laura Theodore the Jazzy Vegetarian has an easy recipe for peanut butter cups. The last time I made these, I added a few handfuls of rice krispies, the minions went over over them.

Somer over at Vedged Out has a recipe for Dad’s cowboys beans, which are simply divine. Maybe you fancy a lasagna? This can easily be made the day before, and just put it in the oven, set the timer, and forget about it until it’s ready. Lasagna can be that easy.

If you are wanting a chili recipe, then head on over to the Post Punk Kitchen. Isa show’s you how to make her meat beany chili with corn muffins. Don’t worry, there’s no meat in it, but it will fool meat lovers.

Take out the crock pot for this Chili  by Kathy Hester from healthy slow cooking.

How about some taco’s? Mighty migas a.k.a breakfast taco, Cheesy Sweet Potato & Chickpea Bowl with Lemon Tahini Sauce. Actually you can stuff any of your favorites into a taco. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll make a mac n cheese taco.

I’m not going to include juice recipes, just juice what is cheap in your area. BUT if you can buy watermelon that doesn’t require you to take out a second mortgage, then I suggest you juice that, with some lime. I’ve even added vodka to it ūüėČ But seriously, I love watermelon and lime together.

There are so many more recipes I could pull up for you, which I may add through out the week- but I don’t want to overwhelm you. No matter what recipe you go with, you can’t go wrong. I’ve made everyone of them and they are all delish!!

What team are you rooting for?

Pizza Pie Get In My Mouth

Sometimes surfing SM sites can be very dangerous, you don’t know what is out there – lurking, in the shadows, just waiting and waiting and waiting to lure you in…. with offers of pleasure, promises of never letting you down- enticing photo’s. Some times it’s a ¬†HUGE let down. Other times, it’s pure bliss.

Yesterday, I came across a post that brought me pure bliss. I could taste the flavours before even trying it. As I read, I knew I needed to make pizza. That’s right! What was waiting for me yesterday was a recipe for a tangy garlicky white pizza¬†sauce.

Around the same time I was reading it, Kayla calls. I tell her all about it. (yes, we chat about food, boys, and clothes all the time like teenagers. Only we’re old enough to know better, yet young enough to do it again) I said the sauce is easy to make, and dough is simple. She’s like “for you maybe……” I said “well it is, if you have an hour to let it rise, then you can do this easily without any type of planning.” She says “You have a dough maker?” I paused, and answered “No, but I do have my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to do all the work for me.” Yeah, sometimes I forget about those who don’t have certain kitchen gadgets. I love my kitchen toys and would DIE without them.

I’m going to share with you, where I found this masterpiece. Go over to Ginny’s blog aka vegan in the freezer for Vegan white pizza sauce¬†and make some. Tomorrow is Friday, so movie and pizza date night.

Check this out. I put broccoli, onion, Brussels sprouts, green peppers¬†and pineapple on it. The sweetness from the pineapple and the tang from the sauce really compliments each other. I really want to stuff my face with the whole pizza. But I did show some will power not to eat all of it. That was hard to do. Here’s some pics to tease your taste buds. Go ahead and lick the screen, I know your are drooling right about now ūüėČ

 

Left to right: Before the oven, hot out of the oven (yes, I couldn’t wait for it to cool. My finger tips may or may not have been injured in the process- but hey, hot pizza) and I took some of the white pizza sauce and drizzled it on the slice to the left, and took left over homemade pizza sauce and kinda just plunked it on the pizza. I had some of my garlic dip left over (I know right? so surprising).¬†Each bite I took was power packed¬†with ¬†delightful flavour bliss. Some say chocolate is better than sex? WRONG- this pizza is better than sex.

Left to right: Me dipping my pizza into the dip, and the white sauce. I didn’t have any fresh basil, so I used dried. I also used my vitamix as I didn’t pre soak the nuts. Next time I think I will use a few cloves of garlic instead of powered. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Do you like red or white sauce on your pizza?

 

 

 

 

The Abundance Diet Review

Somer McCowan wrote The Abundance Diet: The 28-day Plan to Reinvent Your Health, Lose Weight, and Discover the Power of Plant-Based Foods. I’m kinda late to the party as this book was released in June of 2015. To be fair, it seems just like yesterday I bought the book. And honestly where does the time go? For anyone who doesn’t know about this book or is sitting on the fence, I have a few words for you- if you want to redevelop your relationship with food, and want to be able to eat as much as you want without gaining weight- this book is for you. Do you want recipes packed with flavor with each time you lift your fork or spoon to your mouth? This book is for you.

This book is divided by 4 parts. Part 1 includes Somer’s personal journey. Did you know she was diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease, but when she went 100% vegan- she was able to get off all meds and is in FULL remission…. see the power plants have?) She¬† talks about how we as a society,¬† look at food and talks about how to rethink our eating habits by replacing them with healthy ones. There’s a part¬† about reinventing our Kitchen, which is interesting because I’m nosy and I like to find out how others are organizing and what they are buying. I like to be able to take a sneak peak.

Part 2: The 28 day meal plan, she makes things easy for us,  as she made a menu for us. No excuses. NONE!!!!

Part 3: The recipes, including a bonus 1-3-5 day juice feast (she also talks about the basics).¬† She’s not pushy with her opinion, her recipes are down to earth and tasty.

And she wraps this gem up with Fitness and maintenance tips. She doesn’t leave you wondering “now what?” “where do I go from here?” I love the fact that she knows you need realistic goals and she doesn’t try to tell you if you follow this plan, then you will be model skinny. She’s trying to give you a gift by making you be the healthiest you- you can be. Weight loss is going to happen, because she’s not making you starve and is telling you to eat as much whole foods as you want.

These are the recipes I have tried and LOVED!! In fact many of them I’ve made a few times already and I will never get bored with them!!!

Cheesy cauliflower and potato bake

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You can find the recipe on Somer’s site.

Cheesiest potato soup, homestyle mexican casserole, minted cucumber melon juice, easy applesauce snack cake, chocolate chip mini blondie muffins, “cowboy special” one pot pasta, roasted tofu veggies stir fry with garlic ginger sauce (includes up to 3 variations plus a Kung Pao recipe) creamy vegan ranch dressing. Australian carrot, apple, celery juice, chia limeade.

Somewhere I have pics, and I may- read WILL add more later when I update this post with new dishes I make.

Bottom line, she makes this food taste like comfort food. But really? It’s healthful, so you don’t feel guilty about eating it ūüôā I hope you check out the book. Somer has lots of recipes on line for you to try.

Follow her on SM

http://www.instagram/somermccwan

http://www.twitter.com/vedgedout

http://www.facebook.com/pages/vedged-out

I would like to know, what is your fave Vedged Out recipe? I cant decide my favorite.